Rockies sign Seth Smith for $2.4 million to avoid arbitration

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Seth Smith is the latest arbitration eligible player to avoid tomorrow’s deadline, agreeing to a one-year deal with the Rockies that Thomas Harding of MLB.com reports is worth $2.4 million.

Trade rumors have swirled around Smith all offseason, particularly once the Rockies bumped him from the starting lineup by signing Michael Cuddyer as their new right fielder.

For a fourth outfielder $2.4 million would be expensive, so the Rockies may continue to shop Smith after getting him under contract for 2012.

His raw numbers are inflated by Coors Field and Smith has never really hit left-handed pitching, but he’s a career .292 hitter with an .881 OPS versus right-handers and would make for a nice (and fairly cheap) platoon starter on a lot of teams.

UPDATE: That was fast. Smith has been traded to the A’s for a pair of pitchers.

Report: Mariners sign Juan Nicasio to a two-year deal

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Mariners have signed pitcher Juan Nicasio to a two-year contract, pending a physical.

Nicasio, 31, spent last season with the Pirates, Phillies, and Cardinals, putting up an aggregate 2.61 ERA with a 72/20 K/BB ratio in 72 1/3 innings. He appeared in 76 games, leading the National League.

Nicasio will help bolster the Mariners’ bullpen behind closer Edwin Diaz. It’s not known exactly what role he’ll have but it seems reasonable to assume he’ll handle mostly the seventh inning while Nick Vincent will set up for Diaz. Nicasio does have plenty of starting experience so he could also spot start in a pinch.